The group stage of Champions League is finished and the round of 16 drawn. As usual, the play offs are held in the format of two matches. The first round is played February 16-17 and 23-24. The second round is played March 8-9 and 15-16. We have some interesting matches to look forward to. Last season’s champions, Barcelona, will once again face Arsenal. Paris SG and Chelsea meet once again. Chelsea just gave their coach Jose Mourinho the boot. He is replaced by Guus Hiddink. This is the third year in a row that Chelsea and Paris SG are drawn against each other in the Champions League playoffs. Two years ago, Chelsea beat PSG in the quarterfinals. Last season, PSG eliminated Chelsea in the round of 16 thanks to more goals scored away. The old Lady, Juventus, who were in the final last year, will have to find a way to pass Bayern Munich.
Round of 16, Champions League 2016:
KAA Gent – VfL Wolfsburg
AS Roma – Real Madrid
Paris SG – Chelsea
Arsenal – FC Barcelona
Juventus – Bayern Munich
PSV Eindhoven – Atlético Madrid
Benfica – Zenit St Petersburg
Dynamo Kiev – Manchester City
Odds, teams to advance
As usual, the German and Spanish teams are favourites. However, we would like to pose a warning for PSV Eindhoven who made an excellent group phase, eliminating Manchester United from group B. Chelsea won their group even though they have had a tough season in the Premier League so far, with reports of internal conflicts. Maybe the Champions League can unite them towards a shared objective somehow? Paris SG have the odds on their side but are far from obvious favourites. Looking at how all teams have performed during the 2015-16 season two teams have to be regarded as heavy contesters for the overall win in Champions League: Barcelona and Bayern Munich. After a slow start, Barcelona is now at the top of La Liga, easily winning the first El Clásico of the year. Before the season, everyone expected Bayern Munich to win all german titles and they have a great advantage in the already decided Bundesliga. They have also played their best game in Champions League, especially when they defeated Arsenal 5-1.